Translating Theory to Practice to Diversify the Biomedical Research Community -
"The Academy for Future Science Faculty"
Through our empirical research and efforts to integrate multiple social science theories to understand career decisions of young scientists, we arrived at the conclusion that there is a powerful, socially constructed sequence of events, programmed into research training that inadvertently contributes to low rates of professional progression of underrepresented groups. Many of those events and social interactions are highly influenced by the idiosyncratic nature of mentor-based training models employed during research training. With this award, we are experimenting with a consciously constructed and theoretically based 'coaching' model to augment what students encounter through classical mentoring while completing their PhD degrees. It will be the first-ever, randomized controlled trial of an alternative approach to development of young scientists, with one goal being to increase the progression of underrepresented minorities and women toward academic careers. Phase I started in 2011 with 100 students just beginning the PhD.